Determining Child Custody in Houston
Posted by Mary E. Ramos | Child Custody
In addition to being emotionally trying, going through a divorce can be a confusing and tedious process. Nobody wants to prolong the inevitable, but there are many factors that need to be considered and sorted out. There are often children involved, which can make things exceptionally complicated, as well as money and assets that need to be properly allocated. In order to protect your well-being and get what is rightfully yours, it is important to call one of the many divorce lawyers Houston, TX has to offer.
Know What to Expect and Plan Ahead
If you are considering divorce, or even if you have already started the proceedings, knowing what to expect is going to make the process much easier to deal with. Although there may be unforeseen twists and turns, there are procedures in the state of Texas that all married couples need to follow. Take a few moments to read this outline of the steps involved in a divorce in Houston.
Make Sure You Are Filing in the Right State
First of all, in order to file for divorce in Texas, you or your partner will have needed to have lived in the state of Texas for at least 6 months before you start filing. It is also mandatory for you or the spouse to have been living in the same county that you are filing in for a minimum of 90 days prior to filing for divorce. If you and your partner are not currently eligible, it may be in your best interest to either file where you are considered a resident, or simply wait until the allotted time period has passed. The divorce lawyers in Houston, TX should be able to give you specific information that pertains to your situation.
File a Petition
Once you are confirmed to be eligible, you will need to file a petition for divorce. The person who is filing for divorce is known as the petitioner, and the person who is being served the papers is referred to as the respondent. If the two parties are on amicable terms, the respondent can hasten the process and reduce the cost by waiving service. However, either way you will both need to wait a minimum of 60 days before the divorce is finalized. Even if all business has been concluded before then, 60 days is the waiting requirement in Texas.
Consider a Temporary Restraining Order
When the petitioner files for divorce, he/she can talk to one of the divorce lawyers Houston, TX offers if a temporary restraining order is necessary. There are a few reasons why this would be necessary, and some of the topics they address are as follows:
- temporary plans for caring for children
- how the two parties should behave and avoiding hostile behavior
- payment necessities like spousal or child support, as well as the lawyer’s fees
- temporary storage of assets so that they may not be hidden or sold while court proceedings are ongoing
The Discovery Phase and Possible Finalization
The next step is called the discovery phase. This is when the spouses and their lawyers will exchange pertinent information that directly affects both parties, such as dividing assets, debt, child support, and other necessary payments. During this time, facts will be presented to determine child visitation rights, if there are children involved. If an agreement is reached between both spouses, the judge will sign off on it and the divorce will be finalized.
Additional Proceedings if an AgreemWhile a divorce can be a difficult time for the spouses involved, it is important to remember that it will also be an extremely significant event in the lives of the children in the family. As you go through your divorce proceedings, it is absolutely essential that you remember to keep your child’s best interests in mind – no matter how difficult that may be. Understanding how child custody is determined will help you put your child in the best possible situation.
Consult with an Attorney
First of all, remember that Houston divorce lawyers are there to help. Going through a divorce on your own can be a confusing process. A good attorney will give you the support and expertise that you will need to keep your best interests in mind, as well as your child’s. Before you even begin taking steps to file divorce, have a consultation with one of the many reputable Houston divorce lawyers in your area. This will give you a better idea of what to expect and help you to prepare any necessary evidence that could help you to find favor with the court.
Try to Reach an Agreement
Once you have spoken to your lawyer, it is important to attempt to come to an agreement with the other spouse. Naturally, coming to an amicable concession is always ideal, but it may not always be possible. Deciding visitation and conservatorship issues are extremely difficult, to say the least. Many courts require that the parties mediate in an attempt to reach an agreement before going to court.
Taking the Next Step
If an agreement cannot be reached regarding custody, it is common for a temporary orders hearing to be held, which determines where the child will live while the case is pending. This does not necessary mean that either parent has won custody on a final basis; it is simply a temporary measure that will be lifted when the court has made an official ruling. It is important to remember that temporary orders often set the stage for final orders, so it is important to have a zealous and experienced advocate at your side during the temporary orders hearings.
Ruling by the Court
If the court must decide custody issues, a wide array of evidence and factors will be considered, including the child’s physical and emotional needs, parenting skills, the stability of the home, and others. The Court has broad discretion to look at the best interest of the child. Be sure to speak with Houston divorce lawyers about the best ways to prove your case, and remember to make your child’s best interest your priority.
Use Professional Legal Help
Divorce can be a trying time for the spouses, but it can be even worse for the children. There are plenty of resources for Houston residents who are going through divorce proceedings, so be sure to use them to ensure that the best possible outcome is reached for the whole family. If you want the optimal results, it is essential that you speak to one of the many Houston divorce lawyers in the area. Ramos Law Group, PLLC has consistently provided exceptional legal counsel to Houston residents. Don’t try to navigate a divorce on your own. Call Ramos Law Group, PLLC today.ent is Not Reached
If the parties are not able to come to an agreement, it may be necessary for the judge to make a determination based on his/her own opinion, through the help of a mediator and taking into consideration any evidence that is presented. It is important that you are thorough in collecting and presenting all of your information – even if it may not seem relevant at the time. Divorce lawyers in Houston, TX will be able to provide you with advice specific to your situation.
Hire the Right Attorney for Optimal Results
If you would like to protect your interests, as well as the well-being of family members who may be directly affected by these proceedings, it is important that you choose the right attorney. Ramos Law Group, PLLC has the expertise and experience that is essential for getting you what you deserve. Don’t let this extremely significant chapter in your life be a negative one. With the right professionals on your side, you can be confident that your interests will be accurately represented and protected.